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Your monthly dose of Project Management articles.

Business hates project management

Picture the scene. You're at the bar and you overhear a conversation. The conversation is happening between Business and Project Management... It doesn't start well but, will it pick up?

Business: "Hey Project Management, will you just leave me alone? I'm trying to get on with my job, make some money and you're just always there. Lingering, slowing me down with your boring plans, endless and pointless meetings and dull status reporting "

Project Management: "Hang on, hang on. The CEO said I was going to happen. You don't have much of a say in the matter. I've arrived on the scene, I'm cool, shiny and new. I promise benefits to everyone and greatness all round. I am the single most important thing in your life so you need to get used to me being here."

Business: "Pahahahaha. I've heard it all a million times before. Nobody really cares about you to be honest, most of them don't even know why you're here. I overheard James and Ian talking about it whilst making coffee the other morning, mocking your 50 page PID that contains complete gobbledygook - Project Icarus?! Really?! Stupid name."

Project Management: "I know because James and Ian are on my radar. I'll use my stakeholder map and mark them as negatively affected output stakeholders, I'll be able to win them over with my communication plan and soon they will be advocates and not detractors, my spheres of influence analysis never fails"

Business: "Really? What the hell did you just lost me at stakeholder map."

Project Management: "Unfortunately. That's just the tip of the iceberg. You're lost full stop. An archaic mess. That's why I've been brought in. I put the plan together, manage the risks and issues, identify the benefits and deliver the actions necessary to make sure that you realise those benefits. I make you look good!."

Business: "I'm already too busy to be adding this to my list. My clients are demanding, my staff are demanding, at month end I'm tied up in knots with vast amounts of manual re-keying, copying and pasting and pushing the boundaries of Excel with complex formulas even Einstein wouldn't understand. Plus there's new regulations coming in that I have to get ready for that are getting in the way of BAU and hindering my chances of making my targets. And now you, go away !"

Project Management: "I'm not going anywhere, that's why I am here. To help you manage the change away from that chaos and to a brave new world where strength sapping admin and onerous tasks are a thing of the past. If you take the time to look at what's in the scope for my delivery you'll realise I'm optimising people, processes and technology within the Sales, HR, Finance and Compliance departments. If you work with me and help me to deliver what we agree is best for you, Business, I think you'll end up liking me, not hating me. James and Ian got my project name wrong anyway. I'm running project Phoenix and we'll rise from the ashes."

Business: "You know what. You might just be right. Turns out you're not such a jerk. We want the same things, but you keep weirding me out by saying odd things like scope and milestones. We need to spend more time together to better understand what we're going to do going forward. The next rounds on me. Jager Bombs all round"

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Jonathan Atkinson

About author

Managing Director at True North Change

20 years' experience in Head of Change, Programme Leadership, Business Change and PMO Director roles and a former CEO and Managing Director. Jonathan has worked in several geographical locations across multiple sectors, including Offshore and Onshore Law, Financial Services (Fund Admin, Trust Admin, Private Equity, Banking, Private Wealth) Government (Health, Education, Transport, Central, Social Security), Media, Automotive, Insurance and Telecoms, he has been involved in almost every aspect of business and business change. Hull born, his journey to the North West has been via London and Jersey. Father of three amazing children, an avid Spurs fan and cheese lover extraordinaire ! His own personal True North is his partner and soul mate, Nicola.
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